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Potential strike not expected to affect student services

UNBSU student services will continue as usual if there is a strike, says president Ben Whitney.

Services such as SafeRide, the Winter Carnival and the UNBSU Book Buy and Sell will be “business as usual.”

“If something changes we’ll give students plenty of notice, but as of right now we have no intention of cutting anything back,” Whitney said.

On Monday night, professor’s union AUNBT set a strike deadline for Jan. 13 at 12:01 a.m. This means that if the professors and the university don’t reach an agreement by then, there will be a strike.

Peter McDougall, vice-president human resources and organizational development at UNB, said all other services at the university would also continue running if there was a strike.

“If a strike happens, it’s important to understand that it’s only the full-time members of AUNBT who are actually on strike,” McDougall said. “The university will continue to be open and the administrative units will continue to function. Other facilities on campus will remain open.”

Residences and facilities such as the Currie Center, student employment and student health services will remain open. McDougall said even though some students are refraining from paying their tuition and fees, the impact on these services would be minimal.

“Obviously for the university to receive its normal income will have some impact, but it’s not an impact that will cause the Currie Center to be closed to its customers and so on,” he said.

McDougall said right now the university’s main focus is to reach a deal.

“We’re very focused on trying to achieve an agreement. Our sincere hope is that there isn’t going to be a strike. We absolutely don’t want to see students’ education interrupted,” he said. “We’re hopeful that the bargaining teams that are continuing to meet are going to be able to achieve a mutually acceptable agreement.”

Until that happens, Whitney is encouraging students to continue attending classes.

“Definitely go to classes and get working while things are going normally, don’t assume anything in this scenario,” Whitney said.

He also suggests students still hold off paying their fees until the Jan. 17 deadline.

“We’re pushing for the deadline to move in the event of the strike and we’ll give students plenty of notice about what’s happening,” Whitney said.

If a strike were to occur, Whitney said students would be the hardest hit.

“If there’s a strike, students are essentially being left out in the cold. We’re students, we want to be in classes and working towards our respective goals in that setting,” he said. “If that’s not happening, we’re not getting what we’re here for in the first place.”

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